Chapter 10

Family Benefits: Who Gets What

In This Chapter

arrow Understanding how Social Security defines a family

arrow Recognizing how family members can benefit from your earnings

arrow Meeting the guidelines to count as a parent

arrow Computing the maximum family benefit

arrow Considering Social Security in child support

Millions of people grow up in families where a Social Security check is a crucial element of monthly income. Maybe you’re one of them. If not, you may know someone who is. Currently, about 4.4 million children get benefits, worth about $2.5 billion each month. Kids get these benefits because a parent (or two parents) has died, become disabled, or retired.

Tip The Social Security Administration (SSA) calls the payments that go to a dependent family member based on the earnings record of a living worker auxiliary benefits. It calls the payments that go to dependent family members when a worker ...

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